A defined anticoagulant management program to individualize the care provided to each patient receiving such therapy.
The use of only oral unit dose products and premixed infusions, when these products are available, to reduce compounding and labeling errors.
Dispensing warfarin for each patient in accordance with established monitoring procedures, when pharmacy services are provided.
Approved protocols for initiating and maintaining anticoagulation therapy appropriate to the medication used, the condition being treated, and the potential for drug interactions.
Availability of a baseline INR for patients being started on warfarin, and, for all patients being treated with warfarin, availability of a current INR that is used to monitor and adjust therapy.
Notification to the dietary service (if the organization provides such service) of all patients receiving warfarin and response by the service in accord with its established food/drug interaction program.
Programmable infusion pumps, when heparin is administered intravenously and continuously.
A policy that addresses baseline and ongoing laboratory tests that are required for heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin therapies.
Education about anticoagulation therapy for prescribers, staff, patients, and families.
Patient/family education that includes the importance of followup monitoring, compliance issues, dietary restrictions, and potential for adverse drug reactions and interactions.
An evaluation of anticoagulation safety practices.